The process of acquiring images from our internal body is something most people accept as an occasional part of westernized healthcare. X-rays aren’t painful, but there are people who harbor concerns about radiation exposure. Pella, IA dentist, Dr. Jeffrey Allen, hears questions about the safety of x-rays on a regular basis, because internal images are a big part of preventive dental care. X-ray safety should be taken seriously in any medical office. However, concerns are usually unfounded, as the amount of radiation you are exposed to with x-rays is far lower than you probably realize.
The Purpose of Dental X-rays
X-rays are utilized by Dr. Allen to uncover dental issues in their earliest stages of development. As with any health issue, the sooner an infection or abnormality of any sort is treated, the better the prognosis. X-rays are especially helpful when uncovering oral cancer, bone density deficiencies, and cavities. X-rays have been around for a long time, but the process has improved greatly with digital techniques, lessening radiation exposure even further. Still, the radiation you are exposed to with x-rays may be an obvious source, but there are many places that you probably don’t realize are exposing you to radiation every day.
Would you Believe….?
If you travel a lot, airplanes expose you to radiation. Living in places like New Mexico and Colorado will lead to higher radiation exposure over time than sea level geographical residencies. Are you enjoying your color television? Well, very few of us would go back to black and white on a permanent basis. However, watching hours and hours of television means constant exposure to ionizing radiation which is known to harmful over time. So, perhaps you’ll just go outside and have a cigarette to relax? Tobacco contains radionuclides that you are breathing right into your lungs. Packaged food is a common staple in many American homes, but there are a host of reasons to try and develop a more whole foods based diet. The high price of a long shelf life means that food irradiation is part of preserving these meals. Don’t worry about your dental x-rays, though. We will always take extra precautions by covering you with a lead apron and moving quickly to get the job done with as little radiation exposure to you as possible.